The English National Curriculum programmes of study from Year 1 to Year 6 (Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2), are suitable for the academic needs of those primary aged students who are meeting National Curriculum age-related expectations. The programmes of study are adapted and differentiated for pupils working within P Levels, i.e., below age-related expectations. Aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) will also be incorporated, where appropriate, to address individual developmental needs.
Sensory integration is the organisation and processing of sensations from different sensory channels for meaningful use. Some children find it difficult to integrate or make sense of sensory experiences, particularly those on the Autistic Spectrum. The Sensory Curriculum is used to enhance learning and promote well-being in pupils across the school who present with sensory issues, and who learn best via a multi-sensory approach.
Sensory processing varies from one individual to another and as a result pupils will react in different ways to the same sensory input. Pupils may be overly sensitive or very slow to register sensory input (hypo), and others may overreact (hyper). Although for some pupils sensory processing difficulties may always be present, we recognise that for others there may be fluctuations in sensory processing which can change during the day or over longer periods of time.
We work collaboratively with the Speech & Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists to assess and manage the sensory needs of hypo and hyper sensitive children. Appropriate activities are planned to engage and stimulate children in their learning and encourage positive learning experiences and interactions with the people and environment around them. We acknowledge that some children have anxieties and we work to reduce their fears and help them feel secure, developing their confidence and self-esteem.
In addition to our dedicated Sensory Room, we have a range of resources to support children with their sensory needs, including sensory air cushions, calming shoulder or knee weights (blankets), hearing protectors and fidget resources. We practise Mindfulness strategies and use background relaxation music – all the children have access to weekly Music Therapy as part of their regular curriculum. The local community and natural environment are also incorporated to expand experiences.
The Nurture Curriculum incorporates Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship provision, and focuses on social and emotional well-being. There is much research evidence that children’s learning is most effective when they have a sense of emotional well-being, good self-esteem, and a feeling of belonging to their school community.
Using our environment, both within the school setting, and out in the local natural area, the children will have opportunities to learn about caring for each other and all living things, and have the opportunity to experience success in a natural setting. They will learn about friendships and coping strategies, protective behaviours (an awareness and resilience-building programme), team and confidence building, communication with peers and expressing themselves in a variety of ways.
Our nurture work focuses on raising self-esteem and reducing anxieties within a calm and low-stress environment. We use Mindfulness activities, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, and a range of other strategies within our holistic teaching and learning programme. As we nurture our children, we will teach them to nurture each other and the environment, developing the whole child.
Each area of the curriculum can link thematically, so nurturing, the sensory curriculum, developing communication, working collaboratively, and the formal curriculum are all incorporated for children to explore practically, encouraging co-operation and confidence.
Our ethos of a caring and supportive family oriented school permeates across the school ensuring we are Educating Hearts and Minds in our culturally diverse environment.